Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver, British Columbia, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

I love this awesome aerial view of Vancouver--an official Postcrossing find! We'd like to take the kids to Vancouver, and have been talking about someday flying out to Portland or Seattle for an "urban adventure," and then taking Amtrak up to Vancouver, where we'd stay for a few days.

The trick is to conjure congruence between having the time for such a trip and finding affordable airfare for five to get us out to the Pacific Northwest. Maybe one of these days....

Zurich Rennweg

Zurich Rennweg, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

I absolutely adore this color street scene card, showing a view of Rennweg, a pedestrian/tourist street in the old town of Zürich. According to Wiki, Rennweg was the main street of Zürich in the Middle ages.

Thanks to my sister Maria for this fantastic view of a place I would very much like to visit someday--soon! She picked up this and the batch of cards that follow during her recent trips to the States and to Europe!

Zurich Limmatquai

Zurich Limmatquai, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Another lovely Zurich card showing yet another popular shopping street: Limmatquai. Look at those mountains in the background!!! Thank you, Maria ... I really want to travel here!

London Houses of Parliament

London Houses of Parliament, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

My mom and three sisters have all been to London. I would like to visit as well :) This gorgeous night view shows Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the River Thames.

London, England

London, England, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Another pretty card with scenes of London!

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, CA, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Yet another card from Maria (thank you!) showing the pretty San Francisco with one of its S-T-E-E-P streets and a trolley that, I guess, runs along Van Ness Ave., California and Market Streets :)

Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay

"Once a Federal Penitentiary, Alcatraz Island is now part of the National Park system and can be visited by tour boats that leave Pier 41 at Fisherman's Wharf."

Another neat card from Maria -- thanks! :)

The crookedest street in the world!

This is another really neat card my sister Maria picked up when she was in San Fran. What a neat street! :)

"Colorful hydrangeas line Lombard Street, 'The crookedest street in the world.' This street, paved with red brick, makes eight turns in one block."

Switzerland map card

Switzerland map card, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Love this map! One of my recent magazines included a map of Switzerland, so I had already been mentally plotting my trip when this card from Maria arrived :) I want to visit Zurich, of course, as well as Lucerne, Lugano, and St. Moritz. Mostly though, I want to hear the languages and explore the streets and visit the churches--and experience the wonders of the Swiss Alps!

My favorite Paris postcard!

My favorite Paris postcard!, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Surprisingly, out of all the tourist cards I have from Paris, this is my favorite because it reflects a little slice of what life would be like were I to visit the city. I imagine myself waking up to the sounds of cars and trucks and people on the street below ... peeking out my window down to the street, seeing the sunshine and getting a rush of excitement about exploring the city! First thing--find a cafe where I could indulge in strong coffee and fresh bread while watching and hearing the lyrical French world go by!

Zurich city map card

Zurich city map card, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Thanks, Maria!

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

And here is an aerial view of Zurich -- Switzerland, Schweiz, and Suisse, depending upon your language :)

Multi-view Switzerland with map

I usually don't like multi-view cards, but this one, from Switzerland, the country I most want to visit, is an exception :) It packs a lot of information (and sparks a ton of imagination!) in such a little space. You can see the Matterhorn; a picture from Bern; Mounts Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau; a lovely pier at Lake Lucerne; Zurich from the water--and more :)

By the way, Lake Lucerne (Luzern), means "Lake of the four forested cantons."

Switzerland map card

Switzerland map card, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

A nice colorful card showing what I assume are regions? There is no text on the back to explain. But I still enjoy the card! :)

Stamps on Sendai City card

Stamps on Sendai City card, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

I also love the pretty stamps--especially the heart-shaped stamp!--on the Sendai City card ... thus this extra image :) (Blog readers, the card is coming up next ... I blogged this in the reverse order from which I wrote it!)

Night view of Sendai City

Night view of Sendai City, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

An official postcrossing card showing Sendai, which the sender explains is very famous for its beautiful green trees. The sender also writes that Sendai is called "The City of the Forest" in Japan.

The card features the night view from the rim of Sendai Castle. Sendai was developed in the 17th century ... today it is home to one million people!

I am always amazed to learn of large cities with over a million people ... and yet I had never heard of them before! I suppose, though, that there are many cities with over a million people ... and the world is a very big place!

Princeton, New Jersey

Princeton, New Jersey, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

About 45 minutes north from Cinnaminson, NJ, where I spent my most formative years, is Princeton, NJ, home of Princeton University. Maybe I would have gone to Princeton had we stayed in Jersey. Then again, maybe not :) But I love college towns, and this is no exception.

I received this card in a private swap.

From the card: "Princeton lies in central New Jersey and is home to Princeton University, the 4th oldest institution of higher learning in the U.S. During the Revolutionary War, George Washington defeated British troops in a battle at Princeton."

Barnegat Lighthouse, New Jersey

Ah ... this brings back memories of my childhood, when my extended family would stay at Wildwood for two weeks each summer. I remember the boardwalk ... seeing Jaws in the theater (it was scary!) ... listening to Elton John's "Diamond Girl" ... and going out in a boat at Barnegate!

From the card: "Barnegat Light, the second tallest lighthouse in the United States, was commissioned January 1, 1859. The tower light was 165 feet above sea level. It remained a first-class navigational light until August 1927, when the 'Barnegat Lightship' was anchored 8 miles off the coast. The tower's light was reduced over 80 percent, but it was not extinguished until January 1944."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Zion National Park

Zion National Park, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Another card from my sister Jessie! I really like this card because it points out various features in the park.

On the back it says: "Zion National Park isn't just a collection of cliffs, canyons and slick rock chasms, but a complex and varied natural ecosystem."

American Philatelic Center, Bellefonte, PA

This card appealed to me as 1) a former resident of PA, 2) as a philatelist, and 3) as a collector of both art and architecture cards!

I also scanned the back of the card, which features a very nice Center postmark!

American Philatelic Center, Rear view

What a nice crisp, clear postmark!

Southern Bohemia, Czech Republic Map Card

Aug2__0031, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

From Google Translate:

On the front:

It was not, but only in South Bohemia could be...
Magical South Bohemia, Map Carp James (?)

On the back:

Collectors of postcards with carp, James will get in a fabulous office for every 10 cards slosovatelny coupon. On the autumnal fairy tale in Ceske Budejovichich will be drawn on a collector who will receive a mountain bike brand Anlen.

I'm not sure what this all means, but I am sure thankful for Google Translate, which at least gives me a chance to try to understand :) I am guessing that the fish all over this card is a carp named James :)

Downtown Asheville, North Carolina

Love this older art card that shows a reproduction of an original watercolor of downtown Asheville as seen from Charlotte Street and College Street by local artist Ann Vasilik. I have some cards that showcase her work already, so was pleased to be able to add this to my collection!

Table Mountain, Cape Town Views

"The cable car soars above Cape Town on its way to the summit of Table Mountain. Top right -- The dassie, or rock hyrax is the closest living relative of the elephant. Bottom left - King Protea, South Africa's national flower."

Wow -- not only is that a great view over Cape Town, but the dassie?!? I've never heard of such a creature! The photoshopping in this photo makes it look elephant-sized, alright! Wiki tells me that these creatures are known as dassies in South Africa, and sometimes rock rabbits. The Swahili names for them are pimbi, pelele and wibari, though the latter two names are nowadays reserved for the tree hyraxes.

Table Mountain, Cape Town

Table Mountain, Cape Town, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

"The South African national flower, 'Protea Cynaroides' commonly known as the King Protea, is one of 2,285 indigenous plant species found on the Table Mountain chain."

This card is really beautiful, with the white border and the fancy script--not to mention the beautiful flowers! It almost looks like an art card, but the photo comes from the Mark Skinner Image Library.

Printed in Cape Town.

Volendam, The Netherlands

Volendam, The Netherlands, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

This is another cool multi-view, showing the neat, historical area of Voldendam, in North Holland. When reading about it, I was intrigued to learn that only maybe 50 people today wear the traditional costume of Volendam on the streets--and they are mostly elderly people.

I also found a very cool website that shows the different costumes of the different Dutch regions: www.octulipfestival.com/provinces.htm. You'll see the costume of Volendam on there, too!

Pastis Brasserie & Wine Bar, Hartford CT

This looks like it would have been a nice place to unwind and enjoy a meal. I understand that Pastis is closed, now, so this postcard is a piece of Hartford history. I enjoy it because it's an art card! The signature looks to read O'Maxfield '98. O'Maxfield is a fine art photography firm, but I'm not sure which O'Maxfield did the lovely art :)

Banaue Rice Terraces, Ifugao

Banaue Rice Terraces, Ifugao, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

From Wiki: "The Banaue Rice Terraces (Tagalog: Hagdan-hagdang Palayan ng Banawe) are 2000-year old terraces that were carved into the mountains of Ifugao in the Philippines by ancestors of the indigenous people. The Rice Terraces are commonly referred to by Filipinos as the "Eighth Wonder of the World" It is commonly thought that the terraces were built with minimal equipment, largely by hand. The terraces are located approximately 1500 meters (5000 ft) above sea level and cover 10,360 square kilometers (about 4000 square miles) of mountainside. They are fed by an ancient irrigation system from the rain forests above the terraces. It is said that if the steps are put end to end it would encircle half the globe."

Another great find from my box of free cards!

V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, south africa

View of V&A Waterfront built as part of the old docks below Table Mountain. The waterfront abounds with shops, restaurants, historical buildings and places of entertainment."

What a lovely view card! I usually don't like multi-views, but this card is an exception. Notice the Christmas wreath and festive decorations on the left photo? And the SeaLink Tours sign on the right? Awesome!

Cape Point: Where 2 Oceans Meet

I love this view and the idea of two oceans meeting at Cape Point, South Africa. "Sheer cliffs at the meeting of the Atlantic Ocean ... with the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean."

Published in Johannesburg.

The text is also printed in Afrikaans: Steil hange waar die Atlantiese Oseaan die warmer waters van die Indiese Oseaan ontmoet.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Somehow, a part of me is saddened to post all of these wonderful cards when I haven't actually been to the places pictured!

For example, Victoria Falls, also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, the Smoke that Thunders. When will I ever get to Zimbabwe?!? I'll be lucky to get to Europe, much less Africa. Well, maybe some day ... I can never stop hoping!

Aloes of Zimbabwe

Aloes of Zimbabwe, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

1. Aloe excelse with a young Euphorbia ingens
2. Aloe chabaudii
3. Aloe arborescens
4. Aloe pretoriensis
5. Aloe chabaudii
6. Aloe inyangensis

Published by Tourist Promotion in Africa, Avondale, Zimbabwe

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Hero Day in Okahandja, Namibia

This postcard, another treasure my box of freebies, shows wonderful native attire and captures a native custom: "In August Heroes come to pay tribute to their dead chiefs." Published by H.W. Theiss, Windhoek, Namibia

Cape Ann, Massachusetts Map Card

A nice map card for my collection. I notice the interesting sounding "Singing Beach" at the bottom left!

Cribstone Bridge, Bailey Island, Maine

"Showing the famous Cribstone Bridge, the only one of its kind in the world. Made entirely of granite cribstones, it connects Orrs and Bailey Island. Built in 1928, it is 1,150 feet long."

Le Truck, Tahiti

Le Truck, Tahiti, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Le Truck, the only and most popular bus in Tahiti." I'm sure it is the most popular bus if it is the only bus :) Here's some interesting bits from the Internets:

"In and around Tahiti, the famous “Le Truck” is at your service. Basically it’s a truck chassis with an open air sheltered cabin and wooden bench seats. There are literally hundreds of these vehicles serving Papeete- nearly all routes commence and stop near to the market in the downtown area. Since 1991, the service has become a little more organised and six termini have been created to increase “Le Truck’s” efficiency.

"The use of these vehicles is VERY EASY, and can often be one of the highlight’s of a stay in Papeete, we strongly recommend you ride “Le Truck” at least once. Another bonus about the use of this transport system is the cost - still around 150CFP (NZ$2.48)." (That's $1.79 in U.S. dollars!)

Thanks to www.tahiti-tourisme.co.nz/articles.php?id=568 for the info!

Dingle, Ireland

Dingle, Ireland, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

And yet another treasure from my box of freebies: this card showing a street scene in Dingle, Ireland. I see Murphy's Pub and Murphy's Bed & Breakfast, and another B&B a little ways down the road. Obviously, Dingle is a place where tourists like to roam :) You can learn more about this lovely area here: www.dingle-peninsula.ie/dingle/index.html.

Mozart's birthplace and Getreidegasse, Salzburg, Austria

his is another card from my box of freebies -- love it! It shows two scenes: one of the house of Mozart's birth, "Mozart's Geburtshaus." The second scene shows the Getreidegasse, the most famous and exclusive lane in Salzburg, brimming with ritzy shops and tacky tourist traps :) One writer at www.visit-salzburg.net/sights/getreidegasse.htm says this of the area: "Alas, there are "real" people who live in the Getreidegasse - beyond the ground floor, many houses are residential and flats often occupied by middleclass families or even students. Most locals from Salzburg, however, know how to avoid the Getreidegasse at least during the summer months."

Even so, I'd love to visit!

Cool Happy New Year Card

Cool Happy New Year Card, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Okay, so this isn't a postcard, but it could be! I received this card from a client/friend who's very good at keeping in touch with vendors and customers! I really like the tree design, with multi-colored circles and white snowflakes. Very pretty :) And obviously this card has been at the bottom of my "pile" for quite some time! :)

Double-decker buses in England

Love this colorful, oversized card from a postcrosser in England -- it made me smile when it arrived in my mailbox, and makes me smile again as I share it with you now :)

Monday, September 06, 2010

San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Another card from Maria, who picked it up during one of her journeys through (or stays in!) this lovely area. You can see the Golden Gate bridge and city in the background, and the rocky coastline in the foreground. Gorgeous!

Great Britain Map Card

Great Britain Map Card, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Love this big, beautiful map card (thanks, Maria!), which show Great Britian, comprising Scotland, England and Wales. I'd love to visit Wales -- Rick Steves' awesome video tour through the area makes Wales seem like a fantastic place with many old castles and quaint towns!

Harrods, London

Harrods, London, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Ah! This card is from my sister Maria ... she picked it up on one of her passes through London! My mother and other two sisters actually got to shop at Harrods during their trip to London ... I'd like to visit someday myself :)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Master Bedroom

I got this card from a private swap, thinking it very cool to see the Master Architect's Master Bedroom! Wouldn't you know that I tore the very thin card when I opened the envelope, but I glued it up so that it's not too terribly noticeable.

The cards says, "A vaulted ceiling expands into what Wright considered the useless space of the attic, giving a spacious feeling to the small room. The mural, along with a companion on the south wall, was painted by Orlando Giannini in 1895. During restoration of the home and studio in 1979, ten coats of paint were removed from the murals, which afterward were carefully restored. The home and studio is a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation." It was built in 1889 in Oak Park, Illinois.


Blond-Amsterdam, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Wow! Love this official postcrossing card! The sender writes, "On the front you'll see a painting from Blond Amsterdam -- they make cute and lovely works. On the background you'll see typical Dutch plates."

The card certainly is lovely! And I'm glad the sender told me who made the painting, because there is no indication on the card otherwise! So of course I had to look up Blond Amsterdam to see what it was all about: is it a person, a place, a thing, or what? Turns out that "Blond Amsterdam was created in 2001 by Janneke and Femque, a blond duo who set to work designing earthenware. Now Blond Amsterdam's collection consists of dishes, bed linens, clothing, stationary, bathroom accessories, and greeting cards. Blond is sold in many department stores here in the Netherlands, including V&D and De Bijenkorf. However, it is also sold in many small boutique gift shops throughout the rest of the country, and at the flagship store on Gerard Doustraat in De Pijp!" (Thanks to Heather from the Life Abroad blog: hpals.blogspot.com/2009/04/blond-amsterdam.html for this information!)

I also found the cute Blond Amsterdam site, which deserves a little more looking thru: hpals.blogspot.com/2009/04/blond-amsterdam.html.

Another great postcrossing find!


Curacao, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

I'm not a beach person. But I could surely vacation at a place that looks like this. I imagine that there's no one or nothing else around. It's totally quiet, but for the lapping of the waves against the sand and the occasional gull. There is a steady breeze to keep the sun from feeling too hot, and the water is bathtub warm. Ahhh! A quintessential Caribbean island scene :)

By the way, my sister tells me that the locals pronounce this island as "Curacel." Cure -a - cell.

Natural Bridge, Aruba

Natural Bridge, Aruba, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

The ocean waves created Aruba's most renowned landmark, the Natural Bridge. It is the most popular tourist site to visit!


Aruba, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

"Aruba's coast is lined with wide white sandy beaches, many luxurious resorts and tropical swaying palm trees." This is a gorgeous view!

Grenada Map Card

Grenada Map Card, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Greetings from Grenada, West Indies

Nice, artistic map card showing the isle of Grenada